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Fri Feb 21, 2020, 09:52 AM

Revealed: quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots

Draft of Brown study says findings suggest ‘substantial impact of mechanized bots in amplifying denialist messages’

The social media conversation over the climate crisis is being reshaped by an army of automated Twitter bots, with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian can reveal.

The stunning levels of Twitter bot activity on topics related to global heating and the climate crisis is distorting the online discourse to include far more climate science denialism than it would otherwise.

An analysis of millions of tweets from around the period when Donald Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement found that bots tended to applaud the president for his actions and spread misinformation about the science.

The study of Twitter bots and climate was undertaken by Brown University and has yet to be published. Bots are a type of software that can be directed to autonomously tweet, retweet, like or direct message on Twitter, under the guise of a human-fronted account.

“These findings suggest a substantial impact of mechanized bots in amplifying denialist messages about climate change, including support for Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement,” states the draft study, seen by the Guardian.

On an average day during the period studied, 25% of all tweets about the climate crisis came from bots. This proportion was higher in certain topics – bots were responsible for 38% of tweets about “fake science” and 28% of all tweets about the petroleum giant Exxon.


MORE:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/21/climate-tweets-twitter-bots-analysis

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Reply Revealed: quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots (Original post)
kpete Feb 2020 OP
Iliyah Feb 2020 #1
riversedge Feb 2020 #2
dalton99a Feb 2020 #4
k2qb3 Feb 2020 #6
Wounded Bear Feb 2020 #3
k2qb3 Feb 2020 #5

Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 09:54 AM

1. Bots are everywhere . . .

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 09:57 AM

2. seems the good side needs its own mechanized bot output machine.




...........On an average day during the period studied, 25% of all tweets about the climate crisis came from bots. This proportion was higher in certain topics – bots were responsible for 38% of tweets about “fake science” and 28% of all tweets about the petroleum giant Exxon.

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Response to riversedge (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:29 PM

4. +1. Someone should ask Steyer/Bloomberg to finance this counterattack

using their spare change



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Response to riversedge (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 02:36 PM

6. That would likely backfire I'm afraid.

 

It's really important to be absolutely solid on this issue, no exaggerations, no manipulations, primary sources.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:19 PM

3. Not at all surprising...

bots are a lot cheaper than real spokespeople talking on the TV box, and apparently far more effective.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 02:33 PM

5. I'm convinced science denial is going to destroy the right.

 

I'm also convinced it'll be way too late.

It's coming though. I'd love to see a really determined campaign to debunk all the nonsense as a political tool.

I've seen what happens when people finally realize the scope of the lies.

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